The role of community in healing: a series of staff writings

Part of what makes healing out of our brokenness seem so difficult is that while we are suffering, it seems as if we will always remain in our pain, that there is little likelihood that there is hope for improvement, for healing. One of the things that community provides is the encouragement to believe that things need not always remain as they are, community provides hope in its absence, and can be a constant reminder that we are not alone in our pain.

Another antidote to suffering provided in community is a place to be, to belong, during the healing process. The pain of loneliness serves to compound the pain of brokenness, making it feel all the more insurmountable. Having a place to be, where no performance is required, where there is no falseness or expectation, allows us to move into our brokenness, to determine its cause, and to heal. The support found in community lightens the load put on the broken places, just as a crutch serves to lighten the load until we are healed enough to walk under our own power. A crutch, however, is only useful to a certain extent, and after the initial healing, if a crutch continues to be relied upon too heavily, the limb, rather than becoming stronger, will atrophy and weaken. In community this need not be the case, for even before we are fully healed, we can put our brokenness and healing to use, in service to others, in love and support, as others also heal. We can use our broken places and the healing we are experiencing to heal others, thus creating strength, and healing, previously unknown to us. This mutuality ensures that no one person becomes weak from too much support, and that all are able to use theirs gifts for the good of others. This is one movement of redemption in the world; as we heal, we use our woundedness to recognize and heal the woundedness of others.

— Chris Linscott

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Filed under Food for thought, Stories and observations, Wrestling with issues of perspective

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